HPV: what it is, how to prevent and treat the disease

One of the most common Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) , HPV is transmitted by the papilloma virus and can affect both women and men. This disease has more than 100 different types of viruses and can appear on the genitals, in the anal area or even in the mouth. The disease can be transmitted either by oral , vaginal or anal sex and, in the worst cases, it is possible to turn into a malignant tumor. There is also the possibility of transmission from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy.

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The lack of awareness of the importance of using condoms during sexual intercourse is one of the main causes of the disease, especially for those who have a freer sex life and with different partners. In addition, not having frequent gynecological follow-up can also have serious consequences, as HPV symptoms can not always be perceived.

The disease is manifested by warts on the genitals, anal or mouth. For men, it is easier to identify the appearance of warts, while many women may have the disease developed and not notice anything. Warts appear but do not bring any other symptoms, which makes it difficult to identify.

However, in the most serious cases in which there is a risk of cancer or the already established formation of the tumor, there is an irregular multiplication of the affected cells, which makes the number of warts evident and dominates the affected region. Therefore, it is necessary to always be aware of any symptom or appearance of something out of the ordinary, especially in the genital region, because the faster the treatment, the better the chances of recovery.

Types of treatments

The way the virus installs in the body depends on each person, because whoever has more immune resistance may not suffer any consequences from HPV. In many cases, warts appear discreetly and disappear naturally, without the carrier even being aware that he was infected with HPV. In these cases, the body’s immune system can kill the virus on its own, which means that there is no need for treatment.

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However, when the disease becomes more evident and the virus starts to multiply and invade neighboring tissues. Looking for a doctor to start treatment is essential, since the chances of developing cancer are greater. In these cases there are two types of treatments that can vary according to the severity of the problem:

Clinical treatment : When the virus is discovered early and shows no signs of evolution, the most suitable treatment is the clinical one, which works on the basis of medications. The remedies can be applied both in the doctor’s office and in the patient’s home, and in general, they are drugs that act in the elimination of the formed warts.

Surgical treatment : When there is no possibility to solve the problem with medication alone, it is a sign that HPV has become dominant in the affected region. In these cases, the most suitable treatments may occur through chemical cauterization, cryotherapy, electrocauterization or laser treatment. In confirmed cancer cases, surgery may be required to remove the tumor.

Learn how to prevent disease

Like any other STD, the best way to prevent it is through the use of condoms, which should be used not only for vaginal penetration, but also for oral and anal sex. The condom prevents any sexually transmitted virus from being passed on to the partner or partner during intercourse.

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In the case of HPV, there is also the possibility of preventing the disease through a vaccine. There are two vaccines developed that prevent the appearance of the main types of HPV that are more common in the formation of cervical cancer. The bivalent vaccine protects against two common types of HPV, 6 and 11. (What is the HPV vaccine – Bivalent). The quadrivalent vaccine prevents the appearance of four types of HPV, present in cervical cancer and the formation of warts. (Learn more about the HPV vaccine – Quadrivalent)

-> Ministry of Health expands age range of HPV vaccine

Recommendations

  • Use condoms under any circumstances, as this is the best way to guarantee that the body will be free of the HPV virus and other STDs.
  • If you discover the disease, take your partner for a consultation as well, as both are probably infected.
  • Regular visits to the gynecologist are also essential, especially for those who have an active sex life. Any disease that is discovered quickly has a greater chance of success in treatment.
  • In the case of pregnancy, avoid normal delivery if there are lesions in the vaginal area.
  • For those who have a freer sex life, it is advisable to take vaccines not only for HPV, but for other sexual diseases.
  • Also take the Pap smear regularly. This cancer prevention exam helps to have greater control over the appearance of cervical cancer.

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